Challenge: Why I love Brazilian Zouk

Challenge: Why I love Brazilian Zouk

I recently got a dance video related challenge from a friend & student of mine. And I’m always up for a challenge!! But what would a blogger do - turn this into a blog post, obviously.

The challenge was: Why do you dance what you dance? Post your favorite video of your favorite dance(s).

A great challenge - and a tricky one! 

 

SO, WHY DO I DANCE BRAZILIAN ZOUK?

While many participating in this circulating challenge have been posting videos of dance shows, competition performances and demos that have inspired them to dance, for me, the ultimate reason I dance is not entirely in the dance itself.

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What music pulls Zoukers to the dance floor? Poll results

What music pulls Zoukers to the dance floor? Poll results

You know that feeling when you just can't sit still; this urge that you need to wiggle your body right now? What is that irresistible thing that makes a person - no matter their age or shape - want to move their feet or shake their booty?

It's the music. 

For me music definitely is the thing that pulls me to the dance floor like a magnet. And the delicious tum-tchik-tchik of the zouk beat is what has been driving people to learn Brazilian zouk, just as much as the dance itself - or even more.

Zouk music or in the context of this post, zoukable music, encompasses a very broad range of music styles. For one person their favorite music to dance zouk to can be Wiggle by Jason Derulo, for another person it can be Gravity by Sara Bareille and for another it might be Lambazouk by Gil Semedo. All of those (and more) goes easily in the spectrum of "music for Brazilian zouk". And that's one of the things that makes Brazilian zouk such an intriguing dance: all the variety, all the marvelous options and suggestions different styles of music can provide. The sheer volume of inspiration that can be drawn from the music is hard to put into words. And music evolves, so does Brazilian zouk. 

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Why do you dance? Poll results

Why do you dance? Poll results

Why do you dance?
Is that an easy or a hard question?

To me, it’s quite a tough question. And I love tough questions! Especially asking them (hehe). So that’s what I asked you last month! In November’s Poll of the Month I asked you to tell us why do you dance, and more specifically, what is the most rewarding aspect to you in dancing. No multiple choices this time, just a chance for you to share your own dance motivations!

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Brazil 2015 zouk playlist

Brazil 2015 zouk playlist

I'm back from Brazil - and I brought some souvenirs for you: the latest & hottest zouk tracks in Brazil right now! Below are the most memorable and most played songs from 2015 Berg's Congress and São Paulo dance floors during this January - featuring lots of great new zouk, kizomba and other zoukable tracks, as well as some classics you'll hear at the clubs in Brazil right now.

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Zouk music - your guide to artists and playlists

Zouk music - your guide to artists and playlists

I often get questions about zouk music... Us dancers love to get new music as much as we can. Even though our music collections can already have hundreds or thousands of tracks we keep looking for something new & exciting. I'm a passionate consumer of zouk music myself and look up new music every week so I thought I would offer you my playlists for Brazilian zouk!

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In the flow - 5 keys to the magic of dance flow (Part 1)

In the flow - 5 keys to the magic of dance flow (Part 1)

Flow is a moment in time when you’re both challenged at the activity that you’re doing, and when you also have complete autonomy in the task you’re conducting.
Everett Bogue, in The Hidden Art of Achieving Creative Flow.

Have you experienced flow? Dance flow? Creative flow?

I have. One thing that's so great about dancing - and dancing zouk is what I'm writing about here in particular - is the flowing motion. When you're in the dance flow, you will certainly have one of the most pleasurable moments on the dance floor (or anywhere).

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were. 
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

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How to improve your musicality? 6 exercises for dancers (part 2)

 How to improve your musicality? 6 exercises for dancers (part 2)

From theory to practice - how can you improve your musicality? 

“And if the music's good, you dance."
- Unknown

Perhaps you've taken a musicality workshop with your dance teacher or at a congress, and you have already an idea how to work on your musicality (I fully recommend taking workshops and private classes!). But there's plenty of exercises you can do on your own, and this will allow really to dig into details and work at your own pace. Below a collection of exercises that will flex your musical muscles! I hope you'll find these tools useful - I've worked with a variation and combination of these over the years and I feel they've helped me.

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Getting a grip with musicality - the most vague and insightful part of dancing (part 1)

Musicality is to me one of the most important aspects of dancing. The best dance partners are gifted in many respects; technique, style, connection and they are overall great people. Musicality is one important trait among those, it helps an otherwise good dancer rise to an extraordinary dancer. And for me it's the thing that makes the magic happen on the dance floor.

In the words of ballet teacher Deborah Wingert. “Musical dancers don’t just turn until they stop. They turn until they have to move on to the next point in the music. Musical dancers never get so caught up in steps that they ignore the music.”

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Soundtrack of a lambazouker - 2013

I've been collecting the most memorable and most played songs of the past January's Berg's Congress and also music from São Paulo zouk dance floors during that time.

At the bottom of this post is the list of artists and names of tracks on this playlist (to date). There are surely plenty of great tunes still "missing" and I welcome all suggestions! Out of all the tracks the biggest hits were perhaps 2Much's Anjo, Anarita's Letting Go Tonight, Brianna Barros' Love Me Like You Do, Bruna Tatiana's Te Quero Bue, Kaysha's Diamonds and Trey Songz' Heart Attack.

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